“Music is therapy.” Dorothy Morris attests to that, and she should know. The Fresno native has been singing professionally and thrilling audiences for years under the stage name “Lady Coco”. She counts as early influences her parents, who were both musically inclined, as well as such disparate luminaries as Sarah Vaughan, Anita Baker and Teena Marie. But the therapeutic nature of her singing extends beyond the audiences of her sold-out shows in Los Angeles and into her own living room.
Lady Coco and husband Michael, sporting purple to support Alzheimer’s awareness.
Dorothy and Michael Morris were married in 1974. After having successful careers and raising three children, these were supposed to be the golden years; a slower pace filled with travel and relaxed time with grandchildren. But life doesn’t follow a straight line when dementia enters the mix, and the Morris family has been hit harder than most.
In 2002, Dorothy’s mother, Sweetie Brooks, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Within months, she could no longer recognize any of her five children. “You lose the person long before you lose the person,” says Dorothy. Then in 2011, it was Michael’s family — first his father, Earl, and shortly thereafter his mother, Gladys. Through it all, Lady Coco has learned that singing is the best medicine she can offer them. “Whenever my father-in-law would get agitated, I would just start singing Billie Holiday’s God Bless the Child. And he would visibly relax.”
Lady Coco and Gladys
“You can get hung up on a lot of things trying to get them to come around to your way of thinking,” says Dorothy. “But it’s their reality and you have to go where they are, deal with what is causing their upset.” She adds, “Just love them. That never needs to change, no matter what’s going on.”
Every day, family caregivers do a herculean job in meeting the needs of their loved ones. We offer our gratitude and a little bit of recognition for all that they do. If you are a caregiver or know someone who is, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org so we may feature your story here and on our Facebook page.
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Friday, October 11, 2019 Braselton, GA The final race of the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, had all of the drama, suspense and excitement that have come to characterize this wild roller coaster of a season. A rough start The Legistics / Racing to […]
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday, September 14, 2019 Monterey, CA The legendary twists and turns of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca morphed into an adrenaline-fueled obstacle course for the Legistics/Racing to End Alzheimer’s/FastMD/Speed Syndicate team at the penultimate race of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge 2019 season. Round 1 The challenges started early in the race […]
VIRginia International Raceway Saturday, August 24, 2019 Alton, VA It was a race for risk-takers. Mother Nature, a force to be reckoned with all season long at the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series, was once again throwing her weight around at VIRginia International Raceway. Practice sessions alternated between extreme heat and sudden rains – and […]
Once again, “Violet,” our #23 Audi RS3 is being covered with names of donors’ loved ones who’ve suffered the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. Please help us Fund the Care and Fund the Cure. Make a $250 contribution and be part of the magic…